Saturday, April 26, 2008
Forces of NatureI know I'm not the environmentalist of the group here at TBV, Marigolds2 is our very own TBV Green Goddess. Me, I came late to the environmental movement, I guess I grew up in what maybe future generations will call The Great Disposable Age, a time when people stopped using hanker chiefs, and cloth diapers, cloth napkins, and who can blame us? And of course, it was always the women who had to do the laundry, can you blame us for not wanting to wash the crusty hankies for a family of 7? Nobody told us that the invention of Kleenex would cause de-forestation, and even if they had, no one knew the consequences. In any case, I don't see a whole lot of young mothers washing cloth diapers, and if you wanted to purchase real handkerchiefs, I think you'd have a hard time finding them sold anywhere, even though we are so much more educated about the dangers of cutting down trees. I'm not a passionate environmentalist like my friend Marigolds2, I've lived in the city most of my life, and I'm not crazy about wildlife. I'm not an animal lover. In fact, I think animals should live in the forest, with other animals, and humans should live in the city with other humans. I am totally in favor of the segregation of humans and wild-life.
And because I favor this segregation, I think we should all begin using cloth napkins and linen hankies.
Lately, I have had a few disquieting experiences with the forces of nature. I live in a city neighborhood where quite a few of the residents keep pets. I call them "The Dog People", because they all hang out together at the dog park, they have these neighborhood gatherings where they all get together with each other and their dogs, they all get up at 6 am to walk them, together. I don't have a dog, so I don't hang out with them. But I have a driveway, where I park my car. Last week, I was in a hurry to get to the CVS to pick up some allergy meds before work. I got in my car, and my cell phone rang. Since I am a responsible citizen, I pulled over to take the call. I was on the phone for a minute, when I began to smell something foul. I thought it might be the neighbors mulch, or perhaps some natural fertilizer that some one had used on their lawn. The stench was pretty disgusting. I drove to the CVS, and stood in line for my prescription. As I was standing there, I glanced down at my shoes, and much to my surprise, they were caked with a brown substance that was sticking to the carpet at the CVS. I turned around an saw a trail of brown footprints that stopped just where I stood.
I think I've mentioned before, my discomfort with fuzzy four legged animals. In fact, this was not the first time the neighborhood critters have so deposited yesterday's breakfast in my driveway, this was merely the first time I'd stepped in it.
Two days ago, I was at work, and I spotted this enormous crow eating out of one of our compost bins. This crow was huge, it looked like it weighed about 30 pounds, and of course it was big, it was eating all of that good organic produce that I and my co-workers separate painstakingly, from the regular trash, so it doesn't end up in landfills where it will turn into methane gas, wreaking more havoc on the planet that is already way too warm. I grabbed a newspaper out of one of the re-cycling bins, ran towards the crow, saying, "Get out of the !!##%ing compost bin, you #$%$-ing ugly bird!!" I thrust the sports section of the Washington Post right in the massive crow's face, and it flew off to a nearby tree.
But as it sat in the tree, it stared at me.
The very next day, I was out by the compost bins teaching new employees about the importance of protecting the environment, and why it was so important for us to compost our organic trash. I was getting to the part about landfills and methane gas, when I felt something drop onto my shoulder. I looked up, and there was that crow, flying right over me, and looking smug.
Here is the lesson I've drawn from my disquieting experiences with wildlife:
Does a bear shit in the woods? Yes it does, and therefore you should not cut down the woods, or the bear might decide to shit in your driveway. If we remove the natural habitat for birds and bears and all of those other disgusting furry creatures, they will eventually seek other habitats. Animals belong in the wild, not in urban places where people live. And I don't know whose idea it was to domesticate dogs, but if you can't teach them to go to the bathroom in a litter box, then they don't belong in the city.
And if you're one of those weird dog people, follow closely behind your animal, and carry a scoop.
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No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse."
-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?
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